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Author Topic: Drift in the Dark part 4  (Read 4141 times)

Colin Taylor

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Drift in the Dark part 4
« on: March 20, 2023, 04:03:06 AM »

Drift in the Dark
Part 4 of 8

Darkness

 Sunset at Lae was 18:09L (08:09GMT) The middle part of the journey was in darkness and likely still cloudy, making the use of the drift-sight difficult. No two-way radio communication was achieved and no radio bearings were given. It is unlikely the aircraft direction-finder was working as Earhart had not got a bearing with it during a test flight the previous day. The high cloud cover and possible ice on the small side windows probably made astro-navigation difficult. Noonan needed three good star shots widely spaced in azimuth to work-out a fix. Had he achieved that he would have corrected his track and revised the wind forecast. The fact that he remained off-course tells me he did not achieve a fix.

Why did they not turn back?

 The point of no return with an Easterly wind is about half-way at about 09:00 GMT. ETA back at Lae would be about 02:00am L Lae (16:00 GMT). That means they would have to re-negotiate the squalls East of Lae and make a night approach and landing at Lae with surrounding high ground, in darkness. Not a good prospect, so they pressed on to Howland with the expectation of a homing signal from Itasca.
 At about 10:30 GMT, Nauru heard a radio report of a ship in sight.  This could have been the SS Myrtlebank inbound to Nauru at about 166.45o E 1.40oS, exactly on the 6 degree North offset track. They probably passed about 120 NM North of USCG Ontario and about 60 NM South of Nauru where a new Light House had been installed, visible at 34 miles at sea level.
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Diego Vásquez

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Re: Drift in the Dark part 4
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2023, 12:33:30 AM »

On what frequency would Nauru have been listening to AE?  How would they have known to listen on that frequency at that time?  Would they have tried to reply to her?  If so, on what frequency and at what time?  I know this may not tie directly with your theory, but some others might be interested to hear your thoughts and/or venture in with their own answers to these questions.

Diego.
I want to believe.

Diego V.
 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2023, 01:26:00 AM by Diego Vásquez »
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Colin Taylor

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Re: Drift in the Dark part 4
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2023, 08:54:10 AM »

On what frequency would Nauru have been listening to AE?  How would they have known to listen on that frequency at that time?  Would they have tried to reply to her?  If so, on what frequency and at what time?  I know this may not tie directly with your theory, but some others might be interested to hear your thoughts and/or venture in with their own answers to these questions.

Diego.
As I understand it, Nauru reported they heard someone say they had a ship in sight. I have not seen the original radio log transcript in which the radio operator should have recorded frequency, modulation and signal strength.
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